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Harlow Council “Set the record straight” over spending at Harlow Playhouse

Politics / Fri 3rd Oct 2014 pm31 12:26pm

HARLOW Council has no current plans to reduce funding or close the Playhouse. However it is responding to the question about the cost of the Playhouse by providing the following budget information and statement from the Leader of the Council:

The cost of the funding the Playhouse is a follows:

Direct Expenditure
£1,322,420

Less Direct Income
-£1,055,000

Net Direct Cost
£267,240

Add overheads
£167,710

Capital charges for building
£386,070

Total Net Expenditure
£821,200

If for any reason the Council no longer directly funded the Playhouse then the immediate saving to the Council would be £267,420 – (the net direct costs highlighted above). The total savings achieved in the longer term would very much depend upon the ongoing ownership of the building itself and the Council’s ability to reduce the overheads currently charged.

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “I want to make it clear that the Administration has no current plans to close or reduce the funding for the Playhouse or any other service. The budget consultation findings have been published and the Administration is now in the process of working up budget proposals for 2015/16. The final proposals will depend on what the Council’s budget position and Government funding settlement is in January 2015.

“At the last Council meeting a recommendation from Cabinet was also agreed to contribute windfall income of £1.5m into the discretionary services fund which funds a number of the Council’s discretionary services including the Playhouse. This extra income will help support services into the future.

“Published budgets for each Council service consist of both direct and indirect costs all of which are funded from Government grants, money from Council Tax and any income the service generates.

“The figures in the recent consultation gave the total annual budget figures for the services including all overheads and capital charges which does not necessarily translate into the initial potential savings that would arise should a service cease to be funded. The figures in the consultation were included to help raise awareness with residents on how much in total each service costs compared to each other.”

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